Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday he supports the goal of offering one free year of college education to all of those who graduate from the city’s school district.
Garcetti announced his support in his State of the City address touting Los Angeles’ improving job numbers, and painted a picture of a strong future for the city, according to City News Service.
His target for the Los Angeles Unified School District is part of an effort to meet President Obama’s call to make community college free.
“Tonight Los Angeles will become the largest city in the nation to commit ourselves to a new goal: every hardworking student who graduates from LAUSD will receive one free year of community college,” Garcetti said.
School board member Scott Svonkin told City News Service the mayor is expected to help the city’s community colleges with a $3 million fundraising effort with the goal to implement this proposed program within a year.
The college district plans to match any funds that Garcetti is able to raise.
Speaking from the factory floor of Noribachi, an LED maker near the Port of Los Angeles, Garcetti said he slashed the city unemployment rate in half from 12 percent in 2013 and the city has also gained 109,000 news jobs. Noribachi relocated from New Mexico to Los Angeles in 2012.
Garcetti touted how well Noribachi has done since its move in an effort to illustrate Los Angeles’ attractiveness as a tech-friendly place to do business, according to City News Service.
“We helped launch them, because they reflect who we are as Angelenos, and who we want to be as a city — they’re high-tech, they’re inventive, they’re green and they’re global,” he said.
Noribachi makes customized LEDs. The business has seen its revenues increase 340 percent and the amount of employees have doubled to 170.
Garcetti also touched on his plan to put 260 new cops on the street, fix more broken sidewalks, fight the growing homelessness problem and create jobs for reformed gang members.
KABC-TV reported that Garcetti urged residents to support his vision for the city to fix the problems the city has faced in recent years.
“If Kobe Bryant could post 60 points and lead his team to victory in his final game, come on guys we can do this,” he said.